The back door slams open, splinters of wood ricochet off the walls from the shattered frame, and four men step through. They are of an average height and weight, and uncomfortably similar. Not just because they're all dressed in the same dull brown suit. Their faces – blank eyes under a sloping brow, noses a little too wide to be handsome and hard chins like a boxer – are all identical. Like someone stamped them out of the same mold.
My feelings toward Reyneaux and his unseen visitor might be mixed, but there is no doubt in my mind about these fellows. Bad news.
I touch my forehead, polite. “I was just leaving.”
They look at me and the one who stands closest parts his lips in a bad imitation of a smile. “Stay.” The word screeches, like a calliope. He reaches out to put his hands on my shoulders, the way a friend might greet another. But his palms are a swirl of magic.
I strike outward with both hands, leaving his chest open, and slam my fists in and down at his collarbone. It isn't like hitting a normal man, his bones are harder, but they crumble more quickly under the touch of my magic. Metal. As I suspected.